Archive for December 14th, 2012

14/12/2012

Being a Refugee in Poland

Human Wrongs Watch

By Claudia Ciobanu*

Warsaw — 36-year old Iranian Leila Naeimi spent two months in Lesznowola, a migrants’ detention center 15 kilometers south of Polish capital Warsaw. She is still waiting for a decision on her asylum application, but she is too angry at Polish authorities to keep quiet.

Putting asylum-seekers behind bars is common in many European countries, including Central Europe. Detainees are often not informed of the reasons and duration of their confinement, and do not get proper legal assistance. Detention centre in Biała Podlaska, Poland. | Credit: UNHCR

Putting asylum-seekers behind bars is common in many European countries, including Central Europe. Detainees are often not informed of the reasons and duration of their confinement, and do not get proper legal assistance. Detention centre in Biała Podlaska, Poland. | Credit: UNHCR

“Everywhere you saw only walls, everywhere the guards were with us, and they treated us like animals,” Naeimi recounts, adding that while at Lesznowola she was the victim of verbal sexual harassment and of an overall abusive attitude on the part of the staff.

She says that food in the camp was of poor quality, basic hygiene products were missing, and medical care was suboptimal.

“They think they can do with the lives of people whatever they want, as if I were just a ball they can play around with,” Naeimi bursts out.

read more »

14/12/2012

Record One Billion Tourists in 2012

Human Wrongs Watch

As the estimated number of tourists travelling this year hits a record one billion today, the United Nations agency focused on world tourism unveiled a tip-laden campaign aimed at letting travellers know how they can best benefit the people and places they visit.
Credit: WTO

Credit: WTO

The One Billion Tourists: One Billion Opportunities campaign of the UN World Tourism Organization (WTO) shows tourists that respecting local culture, preserving heritage or buying local goods when travelling can make a big difference.

“Today, we welcome the symbolic arrival of the one-billionth tourist,” said WTO’s Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai, according to a news release from the agency. “Your actions count. That is our message to the one billion tourists.”

People worldwide helped prioritize the campaign’s travel tips by voting for the ones they believed would best boost local populations.

read more »

14/12/2012

‘Vulture Funds’ Paralise Debt Relief

Human Wrongs Watch

As an Argentinian ship remained impounded in Africa in a debt-repayment dispute involving a creditor Argentina calls a ‘vulture fund,’ a United Nations independent expert called for checks to be placed on the power of debt holders that buy obligations at a deep discount, then demand repayment in full.

**Gyps fulvus eating the carcass of a red deer in Spain | Author:  Mario Modesto Mata | Wikimedia Commons

**Gyps fulvus eating the carcass of a red deer in Spain | Author: Mario Modesto Mata | Wikimedia Commons

Also using the term ‘vulture fund,’ the UN Independent Expert on foreign debt and human rights, Cephas Lumina, asked world governments to prevent such entities from being able to “paralyze debt relief for heavily indebted countries,” according to a news release from the Geneva-based UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).

read more »

%d bloggers like this: